Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 6/6/2016
  • Gabon is located on the Gulf of Guinea in Africa and has a population of approximately 1.8 million.

  • President Ali Bongo Ondimba was elected president in 2009.  His predecessor and father, President Omar Bongo, led the country for 42 years.

  • Gabon is a multiparty democracy, but the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) controls nearly every seat in parliament and most local offices.  Presidential and National Assembly elections are scheduled to take place in 2016.

  • President Bongo Ondimba’s reform plan, The Strategic Plan for an Emerging Gabon, focuses on building infrastructure, sustainable development and the growth of Gabon’s services and manufacturing industries.  

  • Gabon’s largest industries are petroleum, minerals (mostly manganese), and timber.  It has plans to develop its agricultural sector and improve its national infrastructure.

  • The economy remains heavily dependent on oil, but the government is committed to diversifying to other sectors. 

  • Gabon’s gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at $22 billion in 2015, up from $21.1 billion in 2014 (International Monetary Fund). 

  • Gabon’s average per capita GDP of $13,508 (International Monetary Fund, 2015 estimate) is one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa.  However, Gabon’s income distribution is extremely skewed and its rankings on human social indicators do not reflect its relative wealth.

  • Gabon belongs to the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (Communauté Economique et Monétaire de l’Afrique Centrale, CEMAC).  As a CEMAC member, it uses the Central African franc (CFA), which is pegged to the euro (CFA 656 = € 1). 

  • A former French colony, Gabon gained independence in 1960, but maintains strong economic, political, and cultural ties with France.  Bongo Ondimba’s administration has attempted to diversify Gabon’s international relationships and has worked to strengthen economic ties with the United States.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

Gabon Trade Development and Promotion